5. Mashco-Piro or Cujareño Tribe
This tribe lives in the Madre de Dios Region in Peru. During attempted contact in 2012, an explorer was found with a bamboo-arrow stuck in his heart. The tribe has occasionally been known to approach neighboring tribes asking for food. They tend to live close to the Las Piedras River during the dry season before retreating further into the Amazon forest when the wet season arrives. In 2015, the Peruvian government attempted their first contact with this group believing that they wanted to connect because recently they have been spotted more and more outside of dense forest cover.
4. Totobiegosode Tribe
The United Nations ordered the Paraguay government to protect the Totobiesgosode tribe which was threatened by deforestation in 2011. Their first contact with outsiders occurred during the 1940s and 1950s when Mennonite farmers forcibly took their land to raise pigs resulting in killings on both sides. While some members of the tribe chose to join modern society, others still live a nomadic lifestyle deep in the Chaco forest.
Deforestation has forced this tribe to become more nomadic. The small communities traditionally live on wooden platforms with four to five families choosing to live together. They only sleep in the hut when it is raining, and each family has a small hearth surrounding the hut for meal preparation. When a tribe member is about to die, a hole is dug in the earth. The body is then placed in the hole and the person is buried alive.
3. Mursi Tribe
It is believed that Mursi male babies are born to be mighty warriors. Their religion revolves around worshipping the spirit of people who have died. Therefore, dying in battle means that person should be worshiped by his ancestors forever. In order to pass into manhood, boys must prove that they are masters at using fighting sticks. These implements of war have a large phallus carved on the end and are used to bludgeon opponents to death.
Again, when a man is ready to get married, he must fight other men who may be interested in the same woman. After their marriage, they must regularly lead raids on neighboring villages to steal their cows. While many men still use traditional fighting sticks, some are trading cows for automatic guns. It’s thought that older model machine guns cost around 20 cows while newer models go for up to 60 cows.
The Fleicheros tribe live along the Jandiatuba River in western Brazil. This tribe is known as the poisonous dart throwers. It is believed that until very recently, this tribe of about 30 members had absolutely no contact with outsiders until gold was discovered near their settlement. Locals and foreigners rushed to the area looking for their fortune.
In 2017, two gold miners were attacked by tribe members. It’s alleged that the miners slaughtered as many as ten members of the tribe, cut them up into little pieces and dumped them into the Jandiatuba River. The miners might have gotten away with their crime if they had not headed to a bar in a nearby community where they bragged about what they had done and the gold they were going to find. Brazilian authorities point out, however, that it is difficult to investigate the murders when the tribes people speak a totally separate language and do not want contact with outsiders. Nonetheless, they are committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice.
1. Moken Tribe
The Moken tribe spends most of their lives living in wooden boats off the shores of the 800 islands that comprise the Mergui Archipelago. This area located between Burma and Thailand is claimed by both countries. They are a nomadic people who rely on spears and nets to catch fish and other things from the sea to eat.
Their boats usually have a kitchen, living room and bedrooms. The tribe faces two different problems that may eventually lead to their extinction. First, the food supply is shrinking as people pollute the waters. Secondly, both governments are fighting over who should help these people assimilate into modern society when most members simply want to be left alone. While they tend to be very peaceful, they will use spears and other weapons to defend themselves if provoked. They are considered one of the most isolated tribes in the world because they can be seldom found on land.
The United Nations is committed to protecting this tribe and their unusual way of life.